The Missing Ingredient

He pressed his lips against hers, wrapped one arm around her shoulders, slipped the other around her waist, and dipped her dramatically. Shouts and applause went up from the wedding guests as they threw confetti in the air. Arm in arm, the newlyweds walked down the aisle.

Later that evening, after a long flight to the tropics, Zack and Katie put on their pajama, and knelt beside their bed. He took her hand in his and prayed, “Heavenly Father, thank you for marriage. We pray that you bless our lives and grow our family. Amen.”  She echoed an “amen.” They crawled into bed and promptly fell asleep.

The next day they enjoyed a long walk on the beach and delicious meals, including an early dinner. They decided to head back to their room to get to bed early so they would be ready for the glass-bottom harbor cruise they would be taking the next morning. Again, they dressed for bed, knelt together, and prayed that God would grow their family. They got into bed, turned off the lights, and slept soundly, back-to-back.

Two weeks after returning from their honeymoon, life began to settle into a nice routine: Get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner together, pray hand in hand at bedtime, hop into bed, and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

After their first month together, Katie was curious to find out if a baby might be on its way. So, she went to a store and picked up an inexpensive pregnancy test. Surprisingly, the results were negative. She knew that she was healthy and believed that her married life was stable, so she began wondering if there may have been something keeping her from getting pregnant. She decided to call her mom and talk about the situation. While on the phone, her mom assured her that these things can take time- especially given the stress of a new marriage. Her mom encouraged her to relax, enjoy married life, and leave the “inner workings” to God.

That evening, over dinner, Katie mentioned to Zack what she had discovered from the pregnancy test. He was a little surprised, too, and this got him thinking. They had, after all, prayed faithfully that the Lord would grow their family. He thought that he might benefit from having a conversation with his dad to see if he had any tips.

The next day, Zack dropped by his parents’ home and asked his dad if he had a moment to talk. His dad said, “sure” so they went for a walk together.
“Dad,” he began. “Katie and I have been married for over a month now and we pray every night that the Lord would grow our family. But we learned from a test yesterday that she isn’t pregnant yet. Do you have any ideas as to what we might be doing wrong?”
“Hmm,” His dad said pensively. “I’d like to ask you a personal question. But I hope it doesn’t come across as crass…”
“Go ahead,” Zack urged him.
“Do you and she sleep together often?” His dad asked quickly.
“Of course, we do, Dad! We share the same bed every night!” Zack exclaimed.
“Ok, ok,” his dad said. “I just wanted to cover my bases. In that case, I think it might be helpful for you two to get away again. Take a weekend off and go on a retreat. Change things up, spend time together, and let things happen naturally. You might just need a little change of scenery.”
“Thanks, Dad,” Zack replied. “We both have a day off in two weeks, which will give us the opportunity to make a 3-day weekend out of it.”
“Good,” his dad said.
Once they were back at the house, Zack got in his car, drove home, and booked a room at a nice hotel in the mountains for their long weekend getaway.

After two years, their marriage was on the brink of ruin. They both wanted children badly, but for some reason, they weren’t having any. For two years they had faithfully prayed that the Lord would grow their family. They had gone on retreats together. They had sought council from trusted advisors. They had shared meals together and even the same bed. And yet, their family did not grow. It must be God’s fault…

Once upon a time, there was a small church that wanted to grow. The faithful prayer warriors would gather weekly to ask God to increase their numbers. They even went on special retreats, enjoyed meals together, and sought council from trusted outsiders. After years of praying, the church had not grown. They concluded that God did not want them to grow.

Are you missing an “ingredient” in your service to the Lord?


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